Published on December 11th, 2014 | by Daniel Cheeseman2
AS Roma 0-2 Manchester City | The City Nitty Gritty
“Anything is possible!”
We did it! Who’d have thought that little old City from Maine Road would be progressing through to the last 16 of the Champions League AGAIN from the position we were in a few weeks ago? It just goes to show that nothing’s over until it’s over in football, and as long as you have 11 men on the pitch, the will to win, and some quality players – ANYTHING is possible.
We looked dead and buried after the defeat to CSKA last month, and the 2 red cards felt like the final nails in our coffin, but we must have taken a trip down to the LOST island or something – because we’ve risen from the depths once again!
As if the game against Roma wasn’t hard enough already, we had to do it without who I consider to be our 4 best players: Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, David Silva (for most of the game) and Sergio Aguero. Knowing that Roma played really well at the Etihad last month left me and lots of other people with even more doubt in our minds, so I’m absolutely delighted to say that the Blues proved us wrong.
It goes without saying that it was a fantastic team performance last night, and while there were lots of players who were crucial to the victory, I think that Samir Nasri and Fernandinho deserve a special mention.
For some reason there’s been a lot of criticism over Samir Nasri in recent weeks, with many people saying that he “slows down the game” and “doesn’t work hard enough”, but I couldn’t disagree more.
Sure, sometimes the Frenchman hesitates a bit in and around the box, but he doesn’t do it to slow the game down, he does it because he’s waiting for an opportunity to present itself. He also showed us that he has great pace against Everton last week, and he did it again last night, plus we all know that he’s also not afraid to let one fly if he feels the time is right.
Fernandinho was like a well-oiled machine in midfield, and it was as if he’d been upgraded to the latest software in order to deal with anything that was thrown at him. I thought Fernando complimented Fernandinho to perfection yesterday, and it turns out that combining the two Brazilians together in midfield was a stroke of genius by Manuel Pellegrini.
The Chilean also made the right decision by bringing on Stevan Jovetic with just over 10 minutes to go, as he allowed us to keep better possession at a crucial point in the game and added a lot more quality up front. So on that basis, I’d say that Manuel deserves just as much credit as the team.
It was great to see another good performance from the defense, considering Vincent Kompany wasn’t playing. While there were a few nervy moments from Gervinho and Pjanic, I thought they coped pretty well with Roma’s attack and were very well organised on the whole. Besides, if it wasn’t for Martin Demichelis and Joe Hart, we’d have probably conceded at least a couple of goals on the night, so it’s important that their heroics are appreciated as well.
In conclusion, I know this hasn’t been a particularly long or exciting blog, but it’s because I’m pretty sure that most of you are thinking the same as me right now anyway – so there’s not much point in babbling on and stating the obvious!
I wouldn’t have said this a couple of months ago, but I think there’s a pretty good chance that we can reach the semi-finals of the competition now if Monday’s draw is kind to us for once. There’s lots of teams still left who you’d consider to be “beatable” at this sort of level, so the team has to just keep believing in what they are doing.
Even though it might seem it at times – I’ve never been a non-believer. I always think you should fight to the end, but it’s just that sometimes I let my mind speak more than my heart, so forgive me if it sounds like I’ve been pessimistic in the past!
As always, I’m really looking forward to Saturday’s game against Leicester, and the fact that I’ll be at the stadium watching it live adds to the excitement even more.
Hopefully Vincent Kompany will be able to make a return to the starting 11 at the weekend, as I believe his leadership is an important part of keeping this momentum going, but after last night’s performance I’m pretty sure that we can get the job done without him if push comes to shove!